Non-Linear Narrative


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Non-Linear Narrative Research

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  • My First presentation is on my first method ‘Narratives’ in particular ‘Nonlinear Narratives
  • So what is a narrative?
    -How a plot or story is told
    -A story created in a constructed format ( ‘Story’ is used to describe the sequence of events in a narrative)
    A Series fictional or non fictional events
    In a media text, narrative is the coherent sequencing of events across time and space
    Can be told through the use of images, sound, speech, film or drama
    Examples where narrative is used: Comics, films plays and books.
  • -Linear narrative is the classical story telling format
    -It Has a beginning, middle and an ending- It starts at the beginning and finishes at the end
    -The beginning being the problem, the middle being the climax and the ending being the resolution
    -An example of this would be a fairytale- couple meet, grow up together, get married and live happily ever after
    There is only one entry point and one exit point to the story- The start and the end.
    Linear Narratives have been used in the likes of books and films.

  • -A Non Linear Narrative can have any start point- It can start at the ending and Finnish at the beginning
    -Events can be told in any order as long as it isn't chronological
    -Allow for complex stories which involve the reader as a type of detective having to piece together the bits to figure out the story.
    -Narrative may appear to be random and have no actual storyline- one scene may replace another in a random order with the narrative developing in the mind of the reader
    -Its structure is unlike that of a linear narrative- It consists of many singular entities( scenes) strung together in a 3dimensional form
  • -Non linear narratives can be used to tell stories about:
    -Memory loss
    -Journeys through time e.g. Time travelling
    All of the above have no definitive story structures.
    -Sometimes non-linear narratives can be quite surreal and random- scenes appear not to be relevant to one another.
  • -Unlike film comic book images are presented all at once. therefore the reader has a great deal of control over how they are viewed. They can always go back, re-read or skip ahead, viewing them in various orders.
    -Much of the story is told in a series of flashbacks and with dialogues speaking of earlier events.
    -Nonlinearity shapes not only the narrative but characters such as doctor Manhattan. He experiences all time simultaneously but acts only in the present.
    -Time is inherent to comics in a way that it’s not inherent to, painting or sculpture, instead they are more like movies in that one image follows another .
    -Unlike the rest of the characters Manhattan see’s past present and future all at once and the style of a comic book allows us to see this all at once
  • -This is a method of storytelling where the plot is revealed in reverse order, for example the ending first and the beginning last. The first scene shown is usually the conclusion to the plot the story then flows through to the final scene which is the beginning.
    -It’s only really used in stories of a specific nature. A good example is the Film Memento where a man with amnesia is unable to form new memories.
    -The film unfolds in reverse chronological order in such a way that it leaves the audience unaware of events that happened before each scene.
    -Some scenes are almost reminded in a way that is reflective of that of a memory often events are repeated back and fourth so that the audience can pick up little pieces of the story and what is happening.
    -If this story was told in a linear way it would be viewed as a simple homicide movie with little or no point, but as it was viewed in reverse order we had to piece together little bits of the narrative to realise that there is more to meets the eye.
  • -Significant new art form because of the highly innovative narrative structure and delivery platforms
    Offers an exciting new method of reading within an exciting new environment in which to create and experience narrative

    Bolter (2001) argues that the advent of digital technology has allowed writing itself to be remidiated: Interactivity
    Nonlinear sequencing
    Multimedia elements
    There is no law of hypertext endings dont have to be impossible to find or non existant, can have distinct end places and provide closure
  • -User control or interactivity offers the reader creative input, allowing them to have some input in the direction the story flows. The addition of user control also creates emotional investment
    -Requires creative thinking and the piecing together of information to form a story
    -Experience is enhanced by variety- through visuals.
  • -The pleasures or other distractions of an interface may distract from reading
    There can bee too much happening on a screen- too much visual information
    Reading becomes the second activity
    Some people find it hard to read from a screen, its not as easy as reading from a book, you can’t really take your screen everywhere with you when you want to read.
    Some like the idea of actually owining the book, having it as a personal item. Physical ownership is taken away when the virtual world is introduced
  • Non-Linear Narrative

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